Congressman Ron DeSantis was in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg) campaigning for US Senate today. Speaking to a group of Veterans at the Bob Evans on 66th St N., the Navy Veteran promised to stand up for Veterans’ needs and talked about his bill to provide service dogs to Veterans with PTSD. Currently the VA only covers service dogs for vets with physical disabilities. The PAWS bill, (“Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers”), would require the VA to provide service dogs for those with PTSD and has 70 co-sponsors, from both parties. The Congressman told of how he has personally met veterans who stated they would have committed suicide due to their PTSD without a service dog.
The Congressman is a recognized conservative who has endorsed Trump. However, in an interview with Sunbeam Times editor Dr. McKalip, he stated that he will be just as strong a proponent for the constitution with Trump in Office as he has been with Obama. Rep. Desantis recently spoke openly of how the Supreme Court ruling striking down unconstitutional spending by Obama on Obamacare subsidies for insurance companies was a major victory. He stated that he will have no trouble standing up strongly and firmly if Mr. Trump acts in similar, unconstitutional ways. Mr. DeSantis enjoys an 89% rating for a conservative voting record by Conservative Review, compared to Pinellas local David Jolly (and opponent) who has only a 33% conservative rating. Congressman Desantis joined 113 others to vote against the 2,000 page omnibus spending bill in December, issuing this statement. Congressman Jolly voted for the $1.1 trillion spending package roundly criticized as a vehicle to continue to fund the Obama Administrations agenda and expand the national debt. It included funding for sanctuary cities, Planned Parenthood and failed to use any congressional leverage to stop EPA intrusion on property rights and government intrusion on religious liberty rights. The bill included massive spending with a military slush fund for undeclared war.
Representative DeSantis also expressed concern to the Sunbeam Times that the Veterans Choice Program is failing. The program, designed to give veterans a means to obtain medical care outside the VA when waits are too long is failing. The Congressman indicated he was open to the idea of allowing Veterans to have a true choice in care and to let them “vote with their feet”. That would require a new level of private care outside of the massive administrative bureaucracy of the VA. The Congressman told the crowd of vets that he believes funding should be directed to Veterans’ care from administrative accounts used for “office decorations and all that”. Today DeSantis will be meeting in a conference with concerned Veterans for America in Ybor City to further discuss these issues.
Related to his opposition to excessive federal spending, the Congressman opened up with a story that got the crowd laughing. He told of how he went to a local D.C. restaurant and accidentally used his Congressional Voting key card instead of his credit card to pay the bill. The waitress returned and indicated that the card was no good there since Congress was already over $18 trillion in debt.
As the campaign continues, the Sunbeam Times will continue to report on the Senate candidates to help inform the electorate on the best way to place conservative candidates in office. With either Clinton or Trump as President, it is clear that the halls of Congress must be full of principled conservative warriors unafraid of standing up for the constitution and policies that support liberty, rule of law and free markets.